June 22, 2018 / 10:33 AM / a month ago

METALS-Zinc hits 10-month low as investors bet on rising supply

* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Adds closing prices)

By Maytaal Angel

LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - Zinc prices hit their lowest in 10 months on Friday as traders eyed rising stocks and bet on increased mine supply, while bellwether copper clocked a second week of falls on fears a trade war between Washington and Beijing would hit demand.

Zinc stocks in London Metal Exchanges warehouses MZNSTX-TOTAL stood at 247,250 tonnes at last count, up 87 percent since March 1 this year. Some 880,000 tonnes of additional zinc mine capacity is due to come on stream this year, according to the International Lead Zinc Study Group (ILZSG).

“With zinc there’s consensus that prices will eventually move lower because of incoming mines and we think demand has been impacted by high prices,” said Macquarie analyst Vivienne Lloyd.

“Maybe it’s not quite ready yet, but it will end the year lower than is today,” she added.

Copper was hit by increasingly sharp rhetoric between the United States, China and the EU, and growing evidence of the economic damage such a conflict could produce, though it was underpinned by a weaker dollar.

* ZINC PRICES: Three-month LME zinc hit $2,889.50 a tonne, its lowest since last year August. It ended flat at $2,917 a tonne, clocking a fall of nearly 5 percent for the week - its second weekly fall in a row.

* COPPER: Copper closed flat at $6,789 a tonne but ended the week down 3.2 percent.

* TRADE WAR: U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all European Union-assembled cars coming into the United States on Friday.

* AUTOS: Germany’s Daimler cut its 2018 profit forecast this week and BMW said it was looking at “strategic options” because of a trade war between China and the United States, sparking fears of a wave of earnings downgrades in autos.

* COPPER PRODUCTION: The global refined copper market had a surplus of 55,000 tonnes in March and 87,000 tonnes in February, the International Copper Study Group said.

* CHINA STEEL: Shanghai steel prices fell on Friday, posting their biggest weekly loss since March, with risk appetite curbed by signs that a tariff war between China and the United States is hitting global companies.

* TIN EXPORTS: Indonesia’s refined tin exports in May surged 79 percent to 12,493.35 tonnes, data from the Trade Ministry showed on Friday.

* METALS PRICES: Aluminium closed down 0.2 percent at $2,175.50 a tonne, lead closed up 1.7 percent at $2,414.50, tin ended down 0.5 percent at $20,400 while nickel closed up 1.9 percent at $15,270.

Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by David Evans and Louise Heavens

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